The Karnataka High Court has rejected a bail plea by a key accused in the Gauri Lankesh murder case.
Hrishikesh Devadikar, one of the alleged masterminds in the killing of the prominent journalist outside her home on 5 September, 2017, approached the Karnataka High Court this year claiming the right to be released on bail on account of the SIT not filing a charge sheet within 90 days of his arrest.
However, at a hearing on October 21, a single bench of Justice Suraj Govindaraj said that Devadikar was not entitled to the benefit as the chargesheet against him had been filed at a time when he was absconding.
“The SIT submitted an additional charge sheet against Devadikar on June 25, 2020 within the said extended period, and hence there is no question of statutory/default bail,” Justice Suraj Govindaraj noted.
Devadikar was arrested by the SIT in Jharkhand in January 2020 after he disappeared following Gauri Lankesh’s murder. He is linked to the Hindutva militant group, Sanatan Sanstha, and its affiliate, the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS). The group is alleged to have carried out the killings of Maharashtra rationalist Narendra Dabholkar, 69, in 2013, Leftist thinker Govind Pansare, 81, in 2015, Kannada scholar M M Kalburgi, 77, also in 2015.